Strike Up the Symphony

No question, Sun Valley Summer Symphony season is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year and it has arrived! Though the official opening night of the Symphony’s 30th anniversary season is August 4, wonderful music has come already to the Sun Valley Pavilion.

Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

As part of the In Focus series, the magnetic and slightly irreverent and raucous trio Time for Three took to the stage Tuesday night. Despite a brief afternoon rain, the Pavilion was packed and anticipation was high. Time for Three returned to Sun Valley this week after a memorable performance last summer and both audience and musicians were thrilled they were back.

“We’ve been looking forward to this since we walked off the stage last summer,” laughed violinist Nicholas Kendall, and with a sweeping hand motion continued, “We appreciate this community that so appreciates all this.”

Time for Three rocked the house Tuesday night with guest artist Joshua Radin

Time for Three rocked the house Tuesday night with guest artist Joshua Radin

The relationship between the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and Time for Three solidified last summer when one member of the trio hiked Bald Mountain with beloved Symphony conductor Alasdair Neale. This budding relationship spawned Project Tf3 that will ensure the amazing threesome return to Sun Valley again and again.

On Tuesday night, the two violin players, Nick Kendall and Zach De Pue and double bass player Ranaan Meyer let their music that defies easy categorization speak for itself. As Kendall explained, “Tf3 is not classical: it’s not not classical. It’s an experience steeped in the tradition of classical music.”

The experience under the Pavilion sail was one of inclusion and one that grabbed the audience by the shirt collar and brought them along for the ride. With members of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Time for Three performed a rollicking 90 minute concert that covered everything from Bach to Brahms and made some detours into very modern music.

A picnic on the lawn beside the Sun Valley Pavilion is a wonderful, casual, family-friend way to enjoy world-class music

A picnic on the lawn beside the Sun Valley Pavilion is a wonderful, casual, family-friend way to enjoy world-class music

Special guest singer and songwriter Joshua Radin took to the stage for three songs with Time for Three. The addition of two guitars and his soulful voice offered a complete departure from what many people would expect of a classical performance.

Two more concerts complete the In Focus series whose theme this year is “Made in America.” On Thursday, July 31, the program goes minimalist with a night entitled “Minimally Speaking” and features works from Reich, Glass, Tompkins and Adams. On Friday, August 1, the series concludes with “The Pioneers” and the audience will be treated to works from Ives, Barber, Carter and Copland. Both concerts begin at 6 p.m.

Starting August 4 at 6:30 p.m., the amazing full Sun Valley Summer Symphony will sit poised ready to delight with a full range of work during the season that concludes August 19. Please click HERE for a full schedule.

It's Symphony Season in Sun Valley and that is great news

It’s Symphony Season in Sun Valley and that is great news

Whether you are a fan of classical music or think you are or aren’t, don’t miss the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Programs are designed to excite a wide range of tastes and the experience itself is truly one-of-a-kind. Be sure to come early and sit beneath the sail one night for the best sound and gather a picnic and friends another night for an evening on the lawn that offers a totally different concert-going experience. It’s all good! Actually, it’s all pretty great!

Come celebrate 30 years of amazing music in an amazing place with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. It’s free and it’s fabulous.

–RES

Get Ready to Play in the Glades

If you have hiked, biked, skied or snowboarded on Bald Mountain, particularly on the River Run side in and around the Frenchmen’s runs, you may have noticed some unhealthy looking trees. The culprits? Douglas-fir beetles (the population exacerbated by wildfires in the region over the past decade or so) and parasitic dwarf mistletoe.

In a newly announced measure, Sun Valley with the Ketchum Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service is undertaking measures to manage certain forest stands on the mountain. A large-scale tree-thinning project was started in June and will continue for a few years. The aim is to reduce insect and disease infestation, improve forest health and growing conditions, enhance tree species diversity and reduce fuel loading from dead and dying trees.

Expect more of this after tree-thinning measures are put into place on Baldy. You can practically taste the powder!

Expect more of this after tree-thinning measures are put into place on Baldy. You can practically taste the powder!

An intended consequence of this work will also benefit recreationalists on Baldy. In addition to creating healthier and more fire-safe forests, the work will carve out new glade skiing. By next winter, you will be able to dip into large gladed areas, find amazing pockets of powder and enjoy new terrain consisting of open grown park-like stand conditions. Sounds pretty glorious on a hot summer’s day, doesn’t it?

The Sawtooth National Forest, USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management have authority over the 3,332 acre playground we call the Bald Mountain Ski Area. All entities are involved with Sun Valley Company in making this a successful endeavor.

The new efforts on Bald Mountain will improve the forest's health and enhance the experience for summer and winter recreational users

The new efforts on Bald Mountain will improve the forest's health and enhance the experience for summer and winter recreational users

Sun Valley’s tip-top mountain operations staff will complete the work. This involves employing, for the first time, a track hoe with a special blade. This “masticator” blade meets the challenges of Baldy’s steep slopes and can quickly bring down trees with a 14-inch diameter or less, turning trees into compost where they lie. Kerry O’Brien, grooming trail crew manager for Baldy for 30 years, is operating the special blade and is on the search for the healthiest looking trees to preserve while taking out the dead wood.

All work will be done under the standard of Best Management Practices, reducing impacts to soil, wildlife and healthy vegetation and will affect 182 acres of timbered stands over a three to five year period.

By summer’s end, work on about 25 acres in Frenchmen’s will be complete.

Picture yourself here, skiing new gladed terrain on Baldy next winter

Picture yourself here, enjoying new gladed terrain on Baldy next winter

With this concerted effort, Baldy will stay a verdant green in summer and boast a healthier tree population year-round. There will also be a little more white to play in during the winter. It’s a win-win!

–RES

Summer Ice Skating Heats Up

If you have noticed more activity than usual in and around Sun Valley’s two skating rinks this week, it’s for good reason. Starting Thursday, more than 200 aspiring figure skaters at all levels and from all over the country, will compete in the annual Sun Valley Summer Championships.

This four-day competition heats up the ice with participants donning elaborate costumes and performing their best programs in front of large audiences and a panel of judges.

More than 200 aspiring figure skaters are coming to town to compete in the Sun Valley Summer Championships

More than 200 aspiring figure skaters are coming to town to compete in the Sun Valley Summer Championships

From the youngest novices to those competing at very high levels, everyone is here to do his or her best. Clubs this year represent Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, California, Nevada, Florida and Minnesota. In all, more than 35 clubs are sending skaters to Sun Valley’s storied ice.

Judges return year after year to the Sun Valley Summer Championships, as well. Nineteen judges, technical officials and accountants return this year from locales including California, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, Wyoming, New Mexico, New York, Colorado and Utah. Many say it is among their favorite competitions of the year and something they always look forward to.

Many skaters and officials bring their families with them to Sun Valley to enjoy a vacation before or after the big event. Skaters can be seen in and around the Village and town riding bikes, horseback riding, swimming, shopping, hiking, snacking on an ice cream cone and enjoying everything that makes this area so special. Talk in the locker room is of whitewater rafting or camping trips scheduled once competition has concluded.

Yes, they are skating to win, but the competition is also about friendship, having fun and enjoying Sun Valley

Yes, they are skating to win, but the competition is also about friendship, having fun and enjoying Sun Valley

This summer is extra special as the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club celebrates its 75th anniversary making it one of the longest running clubs in the nation. For decades, skaters have journeyed to Sun Valley to train in the clean mountain air and at altitude. In the past, there were even dormitories located on Resort property to house all the athletes. The tradition continues with groups of skaters training in Sun Valley throughout the summer with their own coaches and with the pros at the Sun Valley Summer Skating School. Coaches offer daily clinics and group and private lessons in all the fundamentals of skating – from edge control, to spirals, jumps, spins and showmanship.

Showcase numbers performed outside on Sunday, are often a highlight of the competition

Showcase numbers performed outside on Sunday, are often a highlight of the competition

The public is invited to enjoy any of the events. Thursday through Saturday, competitors will skate in the indoor rink (a great place to cool off on a hot summer’s day). Sunday, the action moves to the outdoor rink for the popular showcase events. Here, skaters are allowed to use props and perform very entertaining programs that are always crowd pleasers. Tickets are not needed for any of the events. On Sunday, our favorite thing to do is to enjoy lunch on the deck at Gretchen’s Restaurant in the Lodge and then find shade in the bleachers to watch an afternoon of action.

Sun Valley On Ice is an intimate venue to see skating's stars shine beneath the stars every Saturday night

Sun Valley On Ice is an intimate venue to see skating's stars shine beneath the stars every Saturday night

The weekend isn’t just for amateurs, though. Sun Valley On Ice reclaims the rink on Saturday night offering some inspiration and entertainment to all the skaters who are in town and anyone else who loves a good show. The July 26 roster features two-time United Stated Gold Medalist and 2011 Skate America champion Alissa Czisny, 2013 and 2012 World Junior Silver Medalist Josh Farris and Sun Valley’s talented soloists, ice dancers, pairs and core skaters. Tickets are available at sunvalley.com.

And the action doesn’t conclude with the final performance on Sunday afternoon. On July 28 and 29, a ProSkaters’ Live Audition and Performance Camp invites skaters back for more. This is a great opportunity for athletes who are at least 16 years old to get a taste of the professional world of skating. Free auditions will be held on July 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. on the outdoor rink. On July 29, workshops will be held beginning at 4 p.m. with off-ice movement. Following a dinner break, current show skaters will share their experiences about life under the spotlight after which the workshop will continue in the indoor rink. The seminar and workshop are $25 for ProSkaters members and $95 for nonmembers. Please click on www.proskaters.org for more information.

Whether you are a competitor, a recreational skater or would like a few lessons, there is no cooler place in the summer than Sun Valley ice

Whether you are a competitor, a recreational skater or would like a few lessons, there is no cooler place in the summer than Sun Valley ice

Whether you can do a swizzle on the ice, or prefer to order a Rum Swizzle from the Duchin Room and enjoy other’s efforts, be sure to stop at the Sun Valley skating rinks this weekend. It promises to be an action-packed few days.

–RES

Jump, Bounce and Soar

It’s obvious that the new Spider Jump in Sun Valley is big fun even before you see it. Shrieks of joy and “woo hoo” can be heard from quite a distance. When you do see the apparatus, located on the field next to the Recreation Center at the Sun Valley Village, the enthusiastic yelling makes sense.

On your marks, get set, jump!

On your marks, get set, jump!

The bungee spider jump consists of four large individual trampolines on which participants launch into the air wearing a harness that is attached to strong, springy bungee cords. A few big jumps in the middle of the trampolines and up you go, high above the Village. The next four minutes are yours to spend however you set fit. Back flips and front flips are a popular option as is just bouncing in the ether.

Front flip, back flips, big air -- it's all part of the Spider Jump experience

Front flip, back flips, big air -- it's all part of the Spider Jump experience

Last week I took three children, one nine-year-old and two thirteen-year-olds, over the Spider Jump to try it out. Immediately, they were greeted by the two boys who just finished their turn. “It’s awesome!” they advertised.

We were in line behind a family visiting from Washington, D.C. Their two boys, ages 12 and 14 were channeling their best freestyle tricks on the bungees, smiling from ear-to-ear.

Sign a release, step on the scale and off you go

Sign a release, step on the scale and off you go

After signing a release for each, the very helpful attendant Elilel weighed each child (important information in determining how many bungees to hook up to each jumper) and got them set up. The nine-year-old went first, happily stepping into the harness and connecting to the bounce lines.  With a thumb’s up, Elilel told him to start jumping and up he went, laughing all the way.

The girls were next and once they overcame a bit of self-consciousness that comes with the age, they were up in the air flipping and flying and laughing.

Show your stuff on the Spider

Show your stuff on the Spider

Nine dollars buys four minutes on the Spider Jump which may not sound like much, but this is a very active activity. Even my two competitive figure skaters and athletic fourth grader needed to rest during their turn (which means hanging in the air taking a few breaths). Jumpers use their arms, core and legs to keep the momentum going and to perform tricks. After four minutes, all three jumpers were breathing pretty hard.

The Spider Jump is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you weigh more than 30 pounds and less than 200 pounds, you’re in! Elilel said adults seem to like jumping nearly as much as the children. It is, however, not recommended for those with back or neck problems, heart problems, high blood pressure or other conditions that might limit robust activity. Another tip – loose t-shirts may fly up and longer pants and shorts look more comfortable than shorter ones because of the harness. Dress appropriately!

The Spider Jump is big fun in the shadow of the Lodge

The Spider Jump is big fun in the shadow of the Lodge

In between all the other wonderful ways to spend a Sun Valley Summer, from swimming and tennis, to golf and kids’ camps, hiking, biking and skating, make sure you try the Spider Jump. It is something new, it is really fun and it’s a kid magnet.

As Van Halen so eloquently sang, “might as well jump!” This is definitely true at the new four-armed, super springy, bungee-driven Spider in Sun Valley.

–RES

 

Wine and Words

Summer is always exciting and fun-filled in Sun Valley, but this coming weekend really proves to be a showstopper. Not one, but two, of the favorite, most-anticipated events of the summer, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction and the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, are both coming to town and it’s not too late to be a part of the action.

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Wine Auction is a three-day oenophile's dream

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction is a three-day oenophile's dream

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction is celebrating its 33rd year and is widely considered one of the preeminent charity wine auctions in the nation. Everything vine-related is feted and toasted during this amazing three-day event that celebrates Northwest, California, and International wines at a variety of venues. The party spans July 17 to 19.

From exclusive Vintner Dinners to the high-energy Wine Auction Gala and the very popular and more casual Vine and Dine, if you like wine and supporting a wonderful cause, don’t miss a minute. Some tickets were still available at press time for the Wine Auction Gala, certain Vintner Dinners (as part of a larger package) and the Vine and Dine. For full information and buy tickets, please click HERE.

The Wine Auction Gala takes place beneath the big tent at Dollar Mountain and is high-energy, elegant and just plain fun

The Wine Auction Gala takes place beneath the big tent at Dollar Mountain and is high-energy, elegant and just plain fun (photo visitsunvalley.com)

At the Gala alone, 40 live auction lots and 70 silent auction lots including once-in-a-lifetime experiences and wines will delight and entice. The Vine and Dine offers tapas from select local restaurants, grand tasting and music in a lovely outdoor setting at Dollar Mountain at which the whole community gathers.

Proceeds from all Wine Auction events support The Sun Valley Center for the Arts. The Center provides educational opportunities in the arts, with fine art and music programming, lectures series and arts education in the Blaine County School District.

This year's reimagined Vine and Dine event connects the entire community through a theme of great wine and great food

This year's re-imagined Vine and Dine event connects the entire community through a theme of great wine and great food

Step right up, the wine is fine!

Step right up, the wine is fine!

The Wine Auction should be on everyone’s calendar this week.

For the mind, it doesn’t get any better than the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, scheduled in and around the Sun Valley Pavilion from July 19 – 22.

Come be inspired at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference

Come be inspired at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference

An amazing roster of speakers will offer thought-provoking, engaging and current presentations, sure to get you pondering and talking. While full conference passes have sold out, some single event tickets were still available at press time. These $20 tickets are available for purchase online through July 18 as available. Click HERE to purchase now. A single ticket includes admission to one talk and the book signing that follows it. For Pavilion talks, seating will be in the upper tier and entry will be on the East side. Online sales end at 8 p.m. on the 18th and any remaining tickets will be available for purchase onsite beginning Saturday, July 19, at 10 a.m. at the Big Tent located near the Pavilion.

Grab your seat at the Pavilion to enjoy the musings of speakers like author Scott Turow

Grab your seat at the Pavilion to enjoy the musings of speakers like author Scott Turow (photo Sun Valley Writers' Conference)

Speakers this year include luminaries like Scott Turow, Curtis Sittenfeld, Anthony Marra, Dave Barry, Justice Stephen Breyer and Strobe Talbott. For a full listing of events, please click HERE.

Sitting in the Pavilion listening to some of the best minds in the nation provides a truly one-of-a-kind experience that shouldn’t be missed. It is yet another example of the absolutely first-class, cutting-edge events that make magical Sun Valley their headquarters.

Picture yourself here exploring the issues of the day with some of the most notable speakers around (photo Sun Valley Writers' Conference)

Picture yourself here exploring the issues of the day with some of the most notable speakers around (photo Sun Valley Writers' Conference)

Be sure to join all the extraordinary writers and thinkers in this amazing, inspiring setting. 2014 marks the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference 20th anniversary and it is always one of the most highly-anticipated events of the summer season.

Wine and words. It just doesn’t get any better. Cheers!

–RES

To Denver and Back

Last week, I traveled to Houston and home again, taking advantage of the brand-new nonstop United Express service connecting Sun Valley and the major hub of Denver. What a pleasure it was! We flew out on the morning flight that departs Sun Valley at 7:30 a.m., arriving in Denver at 9:11 a.m. Check-in and security were a breeze despite the fact that two other nonstop jets to great connecting cities (Delta to Salt Lake City and United Express to San Francisco) also go out in the morning.

Getting to Sun Valley via Denver on United is a great new option for travelers

Getting to Sun Valley via Denver on United is a great new option for travelers

The planes are large and fast and comfortable with the leg to Denver taking no time at all. The return to Sun Valley, that leaves Denver at 6:52 p.m. and arrives back at Friedman Memorial Airport at 8:40 p.m. is just as convenient. After you land, it’s a quick 20-minute ride to the Sun Valley area. After a good night’s sleep, our vast playground awaits!

The trip south offered easy connections, good flight schedules and competitive rates. My friend who has traveled to Houston a lot and tried many different connections, said this is by far the easiest and most convenient. I imagine that is true for other flights that can connect through Denver from all over the country and the world.

The new nonstop jet service is comfortable, convenient and quick

The new nonstop jet service is comfortable, convenient and quick

Though I live here and this new flight offers me limitless connections to move around the country and the world, it also makes getting to Sun Valley easier than ever. I flew to Sun Valley for 25 years from the east coast before moving here and well remember the days before direct service from Denver. Let’s just say back in the proverbial day there were a lot of stops and serious time in rental cars!

With flights to Sun Valley now originating in Salt Lake City, Seattle (Alaska Air), San Francisco, Los Angeles (Alaska Air) and Denver, the number of ways to quickly and easily arrive in paradise have increased dramatically.

More great news on the travel front was announced Monday as the Fly Sun Valley Alliance confirmed that the great nonstop service we are so enjoying this summer, will again be offered during ski season. When the snow flies, flights from Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake and Seattle will begin in December and run through March for the 2014-15 snow season, getting you from home to Sun Valley’s storied slopes more easily than ever.

You'll be here ...

You'll be here ...

... and here before you know it!

... and here before you know it!

Alaska Airlines will connect Seattle and Sun Valley and Los Angeles and Sun Valley from December 18 to March 29. United Express will provide service between San Francisco and Sun Valley from December 18 to March 29 as well, and Denver to Sun Valley daily from December 18 to January 5 then Saturdays from January 10 to February 7 and Wednesdays and Saturdays from February 11 to March 28. Delta flies to Sun Valley every day year round from Salt Lake City with three flights daily during peak winter periods and two flights daily otherwise. Start thinking snow!

“We worked closely with the airlines and our partners to add the right mix of seat capacity and schedules to match the variable demand periods, with strong capacity during the holidays, February and March, and a bit less in January and April,” said Carol Waller, Director of Fly Sun Valley Alliance. “There will also be a significantly expanded marketing program to ensure we have a successful winter season and fill all these flights coming into Sun Valley.”

Flights are available for booking at www.alaskaair.com, www.united.com, and www.delta.com. A complete flight schedule is available at www.flysunvalleyalliance.com.

Welcome to Sun Valley! Prepare to have some fun

Welcome to Sun Valley! Prepare to have some fun

No matter if you’re coming from Houston or anywhere else that flies to Denver (or San Francisco or Los Angeles or Seattle or Salt Lake City for that matter), make the connection and book Sun Valley as your final destination. You’ll be really happy you did!

–RES

Fishing is for Kids

Children and fishing -- an iconic image of summer made even better in Sun Valley's pristine trout streams

Children and fishing -- an iconic image of summer made even better in Sun Valley's pristine trout streams (photo Brett Wilson)

There is an undeniable attraction between children and fishing. The iconic image of little ones poised on a dock dangling a worm-baited line into the water defines the joys of a childhood summer. Replace the dock with a pristine rushing river, place the children at the edge of an eddy, replace the worm with a fly and you have Sun Valley at its finest and the beginning of a love affair with a sport that lasts a lifetime.

To get the kids started with the right wader forward, Silver Creek Outfitters offers special instruction to make the adventure as fun as it is skill building. Fly fishing camps for children ages 8 to 12 are offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and can be arranged on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well with a minimum of three participants. You bring the child, Silver Creek provides a guide, equipment, snacks and a day he or she won’t forget.

Stop into Silver Creek and get out into the river!

Stop into Silver Creek and get out into the river!

First stop is checking in at Silver Creek HQ, located at 500 North Main Street in Ketchum to gear up. Though everything they need is provided, everything they want may not be. This could include baseball caps, logo t-shirts or all sorts of fun things like binoculars and polarized sunglasses that cut the glare of the water and help you see into the river. And don’t forget the sunscreen. Then there are the flies. Again, while provided, chances are getting your camper away from the cases and cases of colorful tied feathers, thread and fur could take a while.

Once they look the part, it’s off to the river they go. My son and his best friend set off last week with kid-friendly guide Brett Wilson who whisked them away and off to their adventure in record time. Five hours later we met back up at the shop. The boys were smiling and laughing, slightly wet and full of fish tales. On their secret stretch of river, they both landed two rainbow trout and hooked into a few more. They were thrilled and considered themselves quite the fishermen, talking with ease about which flies they used and how proficiently they cast.

Boys and fish equal one huge smile (photo Brett Wilson)

Boys and fish equal one huge smile (photo Brett Wilson)

With children, though, fishing is only peripherally about catching fish. Silver Creek teaches young anglers to be hands-on and embrace the entire experience from turning over rocks to search for bugs, to sitting on the banks to enjoy a snack, to kicking up the grass and watching the hoppers fly. Fishing is an experience and all the different parts are what add up to a memorable day and get the children invested in the process of fishing.

Catching fish is only part of the fun but it is undeniably a big part!

Catching fish is only part of the fun but it is undeniably a big part! (photo Brett Wilson)

Camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and more details may be found HERE.

In my family, learning to fly fish is not an option. At about age eight, everyone is put into waders and put into the river and taught the joys of this lifetime sport. However, as with all activities that require learning new skills, sometimes it is best for the parents to leave the instruction up to the pros. Thank you, Brett, for getting the boy so excited about fishing and wanting to come back immediately and frequently!

Flies, glorious flies!

Flies, glorious flies!

If you are over the age of 12 but would like some basic instruction or a refresher, you, are also in luck. Silver Creek offers what they call “Fly Fishing 101,” a one-day introduction to the sport that covers the basics: casting, knot-tying, equipment selection, fly selection and trout food. Ready to move to the water? Graduate to “Fly Fishing 201” that offers three hours of practical instruction on the river.  Free casting clinics are also held in front of the Sun Valley Lodge Tuesday through Saturday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. A member of the guiding team will teach casting technique. Equipment is provided or you may bring your own.

Be sure to stop by the Sun Valley Lodge Tuesday through Saturday evenings to learn, practice or refresh your casting skills at free clinics

Be sure to stop by the Sun Valley Lodge Tuesday through Saturday evenings to learn, practice or refresh your casting skills at free clinics

Also coming up at Silver Creek Outfitters is a Tenkara Clinic called “Simple Fly Fishing” with Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard on Thursday, July 17. All the proceeds benefit Idaho Rivers United. The Fly Fishing Film Festival is also right around the corner and will be held on July 25 at the Sun Valley Opera HouseFly Fishing Fair. For full information on all classes and programs, please click HERE.

Fly fishing is one of the Sun Valley area’s finest resources and no trip is complete without getting into one of the region’s many crystal clear, trophy trout streams. Book a trip or class today for you and your children. Chances are, you’ll be hooked.

–RES

Fishing is a lifetime sport and a great family activity. Give it a try! (photo Brett Wilson)

Fishing is a lifetime sport and a great family activity. Give it a try! (photo Brett Wilson)


Reggae and Rock (and bluegrass and country)

Though many associate Sun Valley with classical music (thank you Sun Valley Summer Symphony), the best in rock ‘n’ roll and country music (thank you Sun ValleyResort, the Sun Valley Center for the Artsand others), Sun Valley also has some strong reggae roots.

It's nearly time to enjoy some reggae (and jazz and bluegrass and alternative country) in the mountains

It's nearly time to enjoy some reggae (and jazz and bluegrass and alternative country) in the mountains

These roots, and what has sprung from them, will be on display on July 10 starting at 4 p.m. when Reggae in the Mountainsreturns for the seventh year, bringing some fabulous music and a laid-back summer vibe. Reggae in the Mountains has presented two shows each year since its inception, one in the winter and one in the summer, attracting thousands of loyal fans.

Don Carlos is reggae royalty and he will play Sun Valley on July 10

Don Carlos is reggae royalty and he will play Sun Valley on July 10

This week’s concert features international superstar Don Carlos and the Dub Vision Band. Don Carlos is reggae royalty and the opportunity to see him in such an intimate venue is one that shouldn’t be missed. In addition to the legendary front man, the horn section of the Dub Vision Band will blow you away. While according to concert organizer, head of Mountain Niceness and overall really nice guy Danny Walton, “Don Carlos doesn’t need an opening act, but we wanted to bring in great local talent to create a whole afternoon and night of music,” he said. Lighting up the night with be Matt Cifrese, a popular alternative country artist (think Johnny Cash to the Clash), the amazing jazz-inspired Paul Tillotson Trio and the Sheep Bridge Jumpers, a local eight-piece bluegrass band.

Past concerts, like this one in the winter, have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds (photo visitsunvalley.com)

Past concerts, like this one in the winter, have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds (photo visitsunvalley.com)

The event is casual and family friendly. Food and drink will be available for purchase from local vendors. “We expect a huge turnout,” Walton said. “The first concert we did with Don Carols was during the winter. It was negative 10 degrees but 2,000 people came out to hear him play. Don Carlos is the warmest, most positive guy and the cold didn’t seem to bother him at all.” Note: This week’s weather promises to be a bit more welcoming! Walton attributes the continued success of Reggae in the Mountains to the top quality entertainment it provides as well as wallet-friendly ticket prices. “It’s incredible bang for your buck,” Walton said, “and since it’s on a Thursday night this year, you have the whole weekend to get out there and enjoy everything this amazing area has to offer. Reggae in the Mountains runs from 4 – 10 p.m. right in the heart of Ketchum in the Town Square (next to the Visitors’ Centerat Sun Valley Road and East Avenue). You can’t miss it.

The Paul Tillotson trio is a crowd pleaser and made up of consummate jazz musicians

The Paul Tillotson Trio is a crowd-pleaser and made up of consummate jazz musicians

Pre-sale tickets are available for $20 until July 10 and $25 at the gate day of show. Kids under 12 are free. Special packages are available that include a VIP sponsor tent, parking, a no host bar, food, servers, swag and shade, according to organizers. These “Very Irie People” tickets are $100 each. Tickets are available at Atkinsons’ markets in Ketchum and Hailey, Lululemon, Zenergy at Thunder Springs and Johnny G’s Subshack in Ketchum. If available, you may also buy them the night of the concert. “Skip the long lines and buy early, though,” suggested Walton. More great music is right around the corner, too, when on July 13, the one-and-only Los Lobos plays the Sun Valley Pavilion and on July 27, Josh Ritter & The Royal City Bandrock River Run. There is truly something for everyone.

The one-and-only Los Lobos will rock the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 13

The one-and-only Los Lobos will rock the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 13

It has been a busy summer already and tickets to all events are selling quickly. Don’t count on availability the night of the show and don’t be disappointed. There truly is nothing like world-class acts beneath Sun Valley’s stars. The hills are alive with the sound of music and you won’t want to miss a minute. –RES

Sun Valley Welcomes the Mile High City

On July 2, the inaugural flight linking Sun Valley and Denver with direct service on United Airlines touched down. Welcome!

On July 2, the inaugural flight linking Sun Valley and Denver with direct service on United Airlines touched down. Welcome!

The cheers went up as the wheels touched down on July 2 when the first United Airlines flight connecting Denver and Sun Valley landed. The inaugural flight flew through a beautiful early dusk summer night, arriving at Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) in Hailey at 8:40 p.m. The flight was completely full and the new service got a unanimous thumbs-up from the passengers and community representatives who welcomed them.

Just in time for the busy holiday weekend, passengers deplaned, easily grabbed their luggage and knew they could be in Sun Valley proper after a short and scenic 20-minute drive. After a good night’s sleep the weekend possibilities were endless: fly fishing, hiking, biking, tennis, golf, Sun Valley On Ice, parades, fireworks, horseback riding … the sky is the limit.

This passenger captured the spirit of the day upon landing in Sun Valley for the busy holiday weekend (photo Fly Sun Valley Alliance)

This passenger captured the spirit of the day upon landing in Sun Valley for the busy holiday weekend (photo Fly Sun Valley Alliance)

With daily, nonstop flights from Denver (United), Los Angeles (Alaska Air), San Francisco (United), Seattle (Alaska Air) and Salt Lake City (Delta) it has never been easier to plan your dream vacation in Sun Valley.

Welcome to paradise! It's going to be an amazing summer (photo Fly Sun Valley Alliance)

Welcome to paradise! It's going to be an amazing summer (photo Fly Sun Valley Alliance)

Below, please find the flight schedule for the latest flights to paradise:

Daily nonstop fights to/from San Francisco (SFO):
CRJ 700 – 70 passenger regional jet with first class and economy seating
Service runs daily July 2 through August 25 and five times per week until September 23
• Departs SFO 5:30 p.m., arrives SUN 8:19 pm
• Departs SUN 8:35 a.m., arrives SFO 9:31 a.m.

Daily nonstop flights to/from Denver (DEN)
CRJ 700 – 70 passenger regional jet with first class and economy seating
Service runs daily July 2 through August 25 and five times per week through September 23
• Departs DEN 6:52 p.m. – arrives SUN 8:40 p.m.
• Departs SUN 7:34 a.m. – arrives DEN 9:15 a.m.

Everyone agrees that direct service from Denver deserves a thumbs-up

Everyone agrees that direct service from Denver deserves a thumbs-up

Welcome Mile High City and everyone that enjoys connecting through Denver. We are really happy you are here. Have a happy, safe Fourth of July weekend.

–RES

The Fourth is Looking Fab

The big Fourth of July holiday is just around the corner, and no one does it better than Sun Valley. Now is the time to make sure you’ve secured tickets to all the concerts, shows and events that will make celebrating the nation’s independence unforgettable.

At Sun Valley itself, the Fourth will be feted with the first Sun Valley On Ice of the season on Friday, July 4. This star-studded event beneath the stars features the one-and-only Gracie Gold. Gold, the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2014 National Champion, is figure skating’s golden girl. Known for her beauty, grace, athleticism and lyricism, Gold will take your breath away. It’s rare to get this close to a star of Gracie’s caliber, so be sure to get your bleacher, Sun Room, or fabulous dinner buffet seats today. Also lighting up the ice on the Fourth will be Jason Brown, the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2014 US Silver Medalist, as well as Nathan Chen, 2014 Junior World Bronze Medalist and 2014 US Junior Gold Medalist. The fabulous core skaters and featured skaters of Sun Valley will keep the action – and beat — going strong. We’ve heard a rumor that there is a strong disco influence in this show and it is sure to be quite a night.

Sun Valley On Ice kicks off a star-studded season of Saturday night shows on July 4 with headliner Gracie Gold.

Following the show, Sun Valley will set off a dazzling fireworks display, lighting up Dollar mountain and beyond.

Tickets are still available but are going fast. To make sure you don’t miss a moment of this spectacular show, click HERE or please call 208.622.2135. To make the most of the weekend, book a special hotel package, as well. Stay at the Sun Valley Resort July 4 and enjoy two tickets to Sun Valley On Ice and buffet for only $209 per person, double occupancy. Bleacher seating is also available for two plus one night’s lodging for $158 per person, double occupancy. Ask about children’s tickets, too. For reservations, please call (866) 893-4452.

Close your eyes -- you'll swear it's John, Paul, Ringo and George

Close your eyes -- you'll swear it's John, Paul, Ringo and George

The fun continues in Sun Valley on July 5 when the Fab Four play the beautiful Pavilion. At 8 p.m., this first-class Beatles’ Tribute band weaves their precise attention to detail and uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs into the fabric of the weekend. This incredible stage show includes three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-evolving career and live performances of classics like “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day In The Life,” “Twist And Shout,” “Here Comes The Sun” and “Hey Jude.”

A concert at the glorious Sun Valley Pavilion is one you will never forget

A concert at the glorious Sun Valley Pavilion is one you will never forget

The holiday weekend kicks off with music of another sort – the upbeat, “dare you not to dance” sounds of Michael Franti & Spearhead, performing an evening concert at River Run on July 2 at 6 p.m. A part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Summer Concert Series, Franti is a Valley favorite and puts on an amazing show that also features SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall. Tickets are still available for $40 for members, $50 for nonmembers. Early entry (entry 15 minutes prior to general admission) costs $85 for members, $95 for nonmembers plus a $1 per ticket Reverb charity donation. A special VIP Party pack is available. Please click HERE to buy tickets and for more information.

Please note, picnics will be allowed at River Run, as usual, but due to liability concerns, Sun Valley Company will no longer allow outside alcohol at concerts. Bring ID if you’d like to purchase alcohol on site. Bags and IDs will be checked by Sun Valley Security.

Last time Michael Franti & Spearhead played River Run, an amazing time was had by all. Don't miss it!

Last time Michael Franti & Spearhead played River Run, an amazing time was had by all. Don't miss it!

Fun with Franti begins earlier in the day, though, when the Soulshine Tour Yoga Experience hits the idyllic Trail Creek Cabin picnic grounds. Starting at 11 a.m., live music, DJs, yoga and fans all take part in what organizers call “one ridiculously awesome jam.” The morning begins with a very special mass acoustic music and yoga practice, featuring Michael Franti and friends playing live and a class led by Allie Purdy. The yoga is appropriate for all levels, ages, shapes and sizes. The yoga event will last a roughly 90 minutes, followed by an hour-long traditional yoga class taught by Allie Purdy with Michael Franti performing a couple acoustic songs on either end of the class and physically participating with fans. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for this event. Please bring yoga mats and water, but leave your dog at home. The event is rain or shine and is non-refundable. Tickets are $20, $10 if purchased with a ticket to the Soulshine Tour Concert (plus tax). For more information on The Soulshine Tour Yoga Experience, please visit: soulshine.com.

And the Fourth wouldn’t be the Fourth without the Hailey Fourth of July Parade. This true community event features an old west shootout gang portrayal and fun-filled, family-friendly parade that runs down Main Street in Hailey from noon until approximately 1:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Wood River Valley Inspires.” The Grand Marshal will be Dick Fosbury noted for his “Fosbury Flop” and for sharing his love and enthusiasm for sports, especially track and field, around the world.

Hailey's family-friendly Fourth of July parade is non-stop fun

Hailey's family-friendly Fourth of July parade is non-stop fun

Also in Hailey, enjoy the Rodeo over the long weekend. The Sawtooth Rangers Fourth of July Rodeo runs starts July 2 with “Family Nite” (kids ten and under are free). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show usually lasts until about 10 p.m. Tickets are available at all Atkinsons’ Markets and at the Hailey Chamber of Commerce in the Welcome Center located at 781 S. Main Street. All Tickets are General Admission and sell out fast so get there early! This is the 66th annual “Days of the Old West Rodeo.” It runs through July 4.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Ride Sun Valley events continue through July 5. On the Fourth, the Hailey Criterium races around downtown Hailey following the parade. On July 5, some of the best mountain bikers around compete in the U.S. Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships on Baldy.

All the action is back on Baldy on July 5 for the US Marathon National Mountain Bike Championship, part of Ride Sun Valley

All the action is back on Baldy on July 5 for the US Marathon National Mountain Bike Championship, part of Ride Sun Valley

Oh yes, and the gondola and Christmas Lift on Bald Mountain open to bike traffic on July 1.

Phew!

Get out there and enjoy a real, small-town, western Fourth of July with a lot of pretty impressive bells, whistles, and yes, fireworks. Have a safe, fun weekend!

–RES